Sakhile Dube (24) was on Tuesday night crowned Zimbabwe Miss Tourism at the inaugural pageant held at The Venue in Avondale, Harare.
She beat 11 other contenders to win an automatic ticket to represent the country at the tourism international pageant to be held in China next month.
She pocketed US$500 and an array of prizes, courtesy of various sponsors
Dorothy Bhebhe was voted First Princess, while Onesimo Nkomo took the second runner-up’s position and Miss Personality title.
Irene Tuturu was crowned Miss Talent and walked away US$100 richer.
Bhebhe got US$300, while Nkomo took home US$200 for second princess and another US$100 for the Miss Personality crown.
Dube, who is pursuing her psychology degree with Women’s University of Zimbabwe, was shocked and excited at the same time.
She said the journey has started for her.
“I have always been a runway model,” she said. “I tried to enter into a beauty pageant in 2017 as I participated at the Miss Zimbabwe World, but did not make it. I haven’t taken part in any pageant after that, but I would like to announce that I am back on stage.
“I am happy to win this title and perseverance pays, now I am representing the country and hope to bring the crown home. I took part in fashion shows in Milan (Italy) and South Africa in 2017.”
Although the pageant was held virtually, with only 100 people in attendance, it finished late.
The event was beamed on NashTV social media pages and fans cheered the models.
Some models displayed ignorance and dumbness as they were asked to present their favourite tourism destination in the country. Some failed to list the big five animals, resulting in them being laughed at and jeered by the crowd, both virtually and live audience.
Local designers took turns to showcase their talents as they put up a scintillating display on the ladies’ dresses.
During the show some fans including the models were angered and disappointed by the disc jockey who continued disturbing the proceedings.
It seems the show was neither properly rehearsed nor did the organisers give the disc jockey proper instructions, who, for instance, could play fast music while the girls were walking on the ramp.
Or maybe the disc jockey did not know the difference between playing for a modelling event and playing at a nightclub.
“I think he is used to playing in clubs and maybe they hurriedly decided to pick him or he knows the organisers well,” said a fan who commented on social media.
“For such pageants, we need professional people, that is why we miss it because these are some of the things we don’t take seriously.” The pageant gave an opportunity to upcoming musicians who took turns to perform, although some suggested that at least one big artiste could have done a better job. The organisers also worked with some seasoned models, as judged from the confidence displayed by the models.
The pageant was organised by 24/7 Entertainment and earlier last month there was confusion with the other pageant with almost a similar name called Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, which failed to host its own contest due to Covid-19.
“The winner will represent the country at the international pageant hosted by Golden International Cooperation in December in China. She will be talking tourism and promote our tourism and culture,” Vivian Banhire general manager of 24/7 Entertainment.